Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

yond same cloud cannot choose but fall by pailfuls. What have we here? a man or a fish? dead or alive? A fish: he smells like a fish; a very ancient and fish-like smell; a kind of not of the newest Poor-John. A strange fish! Were I in England now, as once I was, and had but this fish painted, not a holiday fool there but would give 30 a piece of silver: there would this monster make a man; any strange beast there makes a man: when they will not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, they will lay out ten to see a dead Indian. Legged like a man! and his fins like arms! Warm o' my troth! I do now let loose my opinion; hold it no longer this is no fish, but an islander, that hath lately suffered by a thunderbolt. [Thunder.] Alas, the storm is come again! my best way is to creep under his gaberdine; there is no other shelter 40 hereabout: misery acquaints a man with strange bed-fellows. I will here shroud till the dregs of the storm be past.

Enter STEPHANO, singing: a bottle in his hand.

Ste.

I shall no more to sea, to sea,

Here shall I die ashore

This is a very scurvy tune to sing at a man's funeral: well, here's my comfort.

[Sings.

[Drinks.

The master, the swabber, the boatswain and I,
The gunner and his mate

28. Poor-John, salted hake.
ib. Were I in England now,
etc. This is attested by the
considerable Elizabethan litera-
ture of 'strange beasts.'
1632 Sir H. Herbert, Master of
the Revels, granted a license to
J. Seele to shew a strange fish

In

for half a year.'

31. make a man, make a man's future.

33. doit, the smallest coin. Eighty doits made one shilling. 40. gaberdine, long coarse smock-frock.

Loved Mall, Meg and Marian and Margery,
But none of us cared for Kate;

For she had a tongue with a tang,
Would cry to a sailor, Go hang !

She loved not the savour of tar nor of pitch, Yet a tailor might scratch her where'er she did itch:

Then to sea, boys, and let her go hang! This is a scurvy tune too: but here's my comfort. [Drinks.

50

Cal. Do not torment me: Oh! Ste. What's the matter? Have we devils here? Do you put tricks upon 's with savages and 60 men of Ind, ha? I have not 'scaped drowning to be afeard now of your four legs; for it hath been said, As proper a man as ever went on four legs cannot make him give ground; and it shall be said so again while Stephano breathes at nostrils. Cal. The spirit torments me; Oh!

Ste. This is some monster of the isle with four legs, who hath got, as I take it, an ague. Where the devil should he learn our language? I will give him some relief, if it be but for that. If I can recover him and keep him tame and get to Naples with him, he's a present for any emperor that ever trod on neat's-leather.

Cal. Do not torment me, prithee; I'll bring my wood home faster.

70

Ste. He's in his fit now and does not talk after the wisest. He shall taste of my bottle: if he have never drunk wine afore, it will go near to remove his fit. If I can recover him and keep him tame, I will not take too much for him; he 80 shall pay for him that hath him, and that soundly.

52. tang, shrill sound.

61. men of Ind, a synonym for 'savages.'

VOL. IV

449

2 G

Cal. Thou dost me yet but little hurt; thou wilt anon, I know it by thy trembling: now Prosper works upon thee.

Ste. Come on your ways; open your mouth; here is that which will give language to you, cat: open your mouth; this will shake your shaking, I can tell you, and that soundly: you cannot tell who's your friend: open your chaps again.

Trin. I should know that voice: it should be -but he is drowned; and these are devils: O defend me !

Ste. Four legs and two voices: a most delicate monster ! His forward voice now is to speak well of his friend; his backward voice is to utter foul speeches and to detract. If all the wine in my bottle will recover him, I will help his ague, Come. Amen! I will pour some in thy other mouth.

Trin. Stephano!

Ste. Doth thy other mouth call me? Mercy, mercy! This is a devil, and no monster: I will leave him; I have no long spoon.

Trin. Stephano ! If thou beest Stephano, touch me and speak to me; for I am Trinculobe not afeard-thy good friend Trinculo.

90

100

Ste. If thou beest Trinculo, come forth: I'll pull thee by the lesser legs: if any be Trinculo's legs, these are they. Thou art very Trinculo indeed! How camest thou to be the siege of this 110 moon-calf? can he vent Trinculos?

Trin. I took him to be killed with a thunderstroke.

But art thou not drowned, Stephano? I

83. trembling, a reputed sign of being 'possessed.'

86. cat; with reference to the proverb that 'good liquor will make a cat speak.'

98. Amen, i.e. Enough (for this mouth).

110. siege, stool, excrement. III. moon-calf, abortion.

hope now thou art not drowned. Is the storm overblown? I hid me under the dead moon-calf's gaberdine for fear of the storm. And art thou living, Stephano? O Stephano, two Neapolitans 'scaped! Ste. Prithee, do not turn me about; my stomach is not constant.

Cal. [Aside] These be fine things, an if they be not sprites.

That's a brave god and bears celestial liquor.
I will kneel to him.

How camest

Ste. How didst thou 'scape? thou hither? swear by this bottle how thou camest hither. I escaped upon a butt of sack which the sailors heaved o'erboard, by this bottle! which I made of the bark of a tree with mine own hands since I was cast ashore.

120

Cal. I'll swear upon that bottle to be thy true 130 subject; for the liquor is not earthly.

Ste. Here; swear then how thou escapedst. Trin. Swum ashore, man, like a duck: I can swim like a duck, I'll be sworn.

Ste. Here, kiss the book. Though thou canst swim like a duck, thou art made like a goose.

Trin. O Stephano, hast any more of this? Ste. The whole butt, man: my cellar is in a rock by the sea-side where my wine is hid. now, moon-calf! how does thine ague?

How

Cal. Hast thou not dropp'd from heaven? Ste. Out o' the moon, I do assure thee: I was the man i' the moon when time was.

Cal. I have seen thee in her and I do adore thee: My mistress show'd me thee and thy dog and thy bush.

Ste. Come, swear to that; kiss the book: I will furnish it anon with new contents: swear.

120. is not constant, is qualmish.

140

126. sack, Spanish white wine.

Trin. By this good light, this is a very shallow monster! I afeard of him! A very weak monster ! The man i' the moon ! A most poor credulous monster! Well drawn, monster, in 150 good sooth!

Cal. I'll show thee every fertile inch o' th' island;

And I will kiss thy foot: I prithee, be my god.

Trin. By this light, a most perfidious and drunken monster! when 's god's asleep, he'll rob his bottle.

Cal. I'll kiss thy foot; I'll swear myself thy subject.

Ste. Come on then; down, and swear.

Trin. I shall laugh myself to death at this puppy-headed monster.

[ocr errors]

A most scurvy monster!

I could find in my heart to beat him,

Ste. Come, kiss.

Trin. But that the poor monster's in drink : an abominable monster !

Cal. I'll show thee the best springs; I'll

pluck thee berries;

I'll fish for thee and get thee wood enough.

A plague upon the tyrant that I serve!

I'll bear him no more sticks, but follow thee,
Thou wondrous man.

Trin. A most ridiculous monster, to make a wonder of a poor drunkard!

Cal. I prithee, let me bring thee where crabs grow;

And I with my long nails will dig thee pig-nuts ;
Show thee a jay's nest and instruct thee how
To snare the nimble marmoset; I'll bring thee

150. Well drawn, 'a good draught.'

172. pig-nuts, the edible

160

170

bulbous root-stock of the plant Bunium flexuosum.

174. marmoset, small monkey.

« IndietroContinua »